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LETTERS to the editor

December 2008
New Series on Print Buyers 

Dear Editor,

I just wanted to let you know how much all of us have appreciated your new series on “What Print Buyers Want.” Awesome, awesome stuff!

I distributed copies to our illustrious sales force at the weekly meeting. Great information, and I am looking forward to the next installment.

Joanie Lotze
Marketing Director
Southeastern Printing
Stuart, FL

Skilled Labor: About Wages

Dear Editor,

I’ve followed some, but not all, of the discussion about skilled labor in our industry. Therefore, I don’t know whether or not this issue has been discussed—wages.

Is there enough financial incentive for workers to become “skilled press operators?”

A local, major tire company has been advertising job openings on the radio with starting pay of $18.50 per hour, with a rate of $22.50 in two years. The requirements are a high school education and candidates must be drug-free.

Our local electric utility company pays $28 an hour to line maintenance workers (not skilled and licensed linemen, just fancy terminology for tree trimmers). Add in overtime for a couple of ice storms, and their gross can be close to $100,000. My brother-in-law did it last year.

What is a UPS driver making these days? With overtime, ours makes about $65,000.

Compare that to what we, at least I, can afford to pay pressmen, while  still making a profit in a highly competitive business like ours.  

What starting pay can I offer to attract young, bright, trainable people that someday can become  “skilled pressmen?”

I don’t have the answers. If someone does, I’m all ears.

Jim Tuttle
Advance Graphics
Chandler, OK

Thanks for The Memories

Dear Editor,

Thank you, Printing Impressions and the Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Print Media, for the unexpected Hall of Fame recognition.

It is quite humbling, to say the least, and I am very grateful for an industry that has been, and continues to be, dynamic, challenging, rewarding and innovative to name a few.

We will do our best to keep things on a positive track and ensure our industry has a bright future. Thank you again for the recognition!

Jim Andersen
IWCO Direct
Chanhassen, MN

Harris Saves Our Economy

Dear Editor,

Great column in Printing Impressions (about Harris DeWese saving the economy). It’s true; in good times and bad, I can be as busy as I want to be, if I keep my head up, smile and sell.

John G. Champion
Border Press
Brownsville, TX

Dear Editor,

This note is for the Mañana Man [Harris DeWese].

Mañana Man, you have outdone yourself with the September article. You have now exposed yourself as being far better prepared to get us out of the national financial mess than the current administration or either of the presidential candidates.

Once your plan hits CNN, FOX, MSNBC, CNBC and Bloomberg, there will be an outcry to place you as a write-in candidate as the next president. I am hopeful that there will be enough paper available so you can be written in—with so many mills closing.

Yes, you have really done it this time. And, with your new job, how in the world will you find time to help the printing industry?

Excellent article. Keep up the great work!

Charlie Counts
Crownmax Inc.
Dunbar, WV

We encourage reader feedback. Write to Mark Michelson, editor-in-chief, Printing Impressions, 1500 Spring Garden St., 12th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19130; e-mail Some letters are shortened/edited due to length.


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